Features

Making choices

"Making choices" Continued...

Issue: "Profiles in effective compassion," April 24, 2010

The reform-minded state politicians are also facing tight budgets. Schundler spoke with WORLD in January before he took office: "It's not about money. You can deal with the budget at the same time that you make these reforms in public education." Christie cut $820 million from the state education budget this year but left charter school funds intact.
-with reporting by Alisa Harris in New York

Changes on the horizon

Round two of Race to the Top

About $3 billion remain in the federal government's competitive education grant pool for states. While the Department of Education gave awards to only two states in the first round, a tactic intended to raise the bar for applicants, it will likely expand grants to more schools in the second round.

The overhaul of No Child Left Behind

Education Secretary Arne Duncan released his blueprint for reforming No Child Left Behind in March, which suggests some broad changes. Congress is unlikely to vote on the issue before the year is out, but the policy-making wheels are turning.

• The plan would preserve yearly achievement testing, but focus less on students achieving yearly scores, instead focusing on making students "college-ready."

• The plan would allow greater flexibility to successful schools, while increasing monitoring of failing schools.

• Instead of measuring how far students are from national standards, schools would measure how much progress students are making.

• The plan would provide more funding to expand assessments of teachers and schools.

• The plan would provide for the expansion of charter schools.

"The main disappointment to me in the blueprint was the lack of detail," said Lexington Institute's Don Soifer: "The minute you start filling in the details is the minute you lose the support."

Emily Belz
Emily Belz

Emily, who has covered everything from political infighting to pet salons for The Indianapolis Star, The Hill, and the New York Daily News, reports for WORLD from New York City. Follow Emily on Twitter @emzleb.

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